Late last week, my mom and I quietly snuck back to our hometown to surprise my sweet aunt who’s been battling an aggressive form of breast cancer.
It blows my mind it’s been a year already because we know all too well a successful outcome is never guaranteed.
And as a result, we’re thankful for every single day we have with her.
As some of you know, our family has been enveloped in a cloud of grief since the middle of April. As I write this, we’ve had 5 loved ones pass away.
A 6th is currently in hospice care.
My aunt tried to convince us several times not to even bother celebrating her birthday. She’s a very practical person anyway so this did not come as a surprise.
“I’m not looking back for a single second and y’all shouldn’t either,” she told me. “You don’t need to come. We’ll celebrate once we get to Martha’s Vineyard,” she told my Mom.
Normally, we would respect her wishes.
But there was no way we could let the day pass without marking it in some way. So, we honored my aunt by keeping things as “no-fuss” as possible.
We ate biscuits while the rain fell and then walked the gorgeous flower beds outlining her farm.
My cousin (her daughter) went out early to fix her hair and makeup. She also surprised my aunt with a beautiful new outfit so she would not only look her best but would feel her best too.
We took her to lunch “uptown”, gave her a personalized stationery set and fountain pen, toasted her special day with the best coconut cream pie we’ve ever had, and cheered her miraculous recovery with pink bubbly in little party cups.
We laughed and cried and hugged each other tightly.
As we were leaving, I asked my aunt what she had discovered about herself over the past year. “Learning to let go and wait was really tough,” she said, “I like to fix things and I wanted it to be done on my timeline.” (emphasis hers)
“The other thing is that I couldn’t have made it without you guys. It was hard to ask for help but you all knew what I needed before I even needed it sometimes. You have no idea what a gift that was to me. It felt like you were sharing my burden even though it wasn’t yours to carry,” she continued.
The ride home was an especially quiet one. But I knew we had made the right choice in helping my aunt celebrate her special day.
If the past month has taught me anything, it’s just how easily our lives can change in an instant.
Taking a single day for granted is a luxury very few people around the globe can even afford.
So, as we enter the summer season, my wish for you is a simple one…
Don’t wait to live your dreams out loud or to celebrate your purpose.
Don’t wait to apologize and make amends.
Don’t wait to take the trip or make your health and mental wellness a priority.
Don’t wait to buy the bigger pants or have the tough conversations you’ve been putting off.
We were never meant to carry our burdens alone.
Don’t wait to lay them down.
A Few of Our Favorite Things From Around the Web This Week…
This portfolio is filled with luxury spaces.
I can’t stop thinking about this project from photography powerhouse Gridley + Graves.
What do you think about this French bistro-inspired kitchen?
How pretty is this house by Bria Hammel Interiors?
I’ve looked at these photos a hundred times and I STILL can’t get over the transformation!
If you love Cape Cod-style homes, you’re in for a gorgeous treat!
This garden in Devon is really beautiful.
The Chelsea Flower Show gets me every time.
Speaking of beautiful, I’m totally obsessed with these flower arrangements.
Love, love, love this fabulous linen closet organization!
Just added this fun idea to my summer DIYs to try!
I’m totally here for the long sleeve swimsuit trend, are you?
Words to Live By…
Second Quarter Books of the Month and Devotional…
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- April – The Gift of Home: Beauty and Inspiration to Make Every Space a Special Place by Bre Doucette (The designs and ideas in this book all feel doable which is nice. It also made me want to have hydrangeas planted around every inch of our property.)
- May – The Power to Bless – Speaking Life into Those You Love by Alan Right (This is definitely going to be one of my favorite books of the year. It was SO GOOD and felt like having a little pep talk each day)
- June – Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris by Jennifer L Scott (I’m so excited to dive into this book this month!)
- Courageous Simplicity: Abide in the Simple Abundance of Jesus (I’ve really had to take my time with this devotional because some sections of it are pretty deep. That said, I’m learning a lot and I look at my calendar in a completely different way now)
On the Menu this Week…
Week of June 5th – June 12th
- 06/05 Sunday: Chicken Mozzarella Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 06/06 Monday: Grilled Fish with Mango and Avocado Salad
- 06/07 Tuesday: Tacos Casserole and Mexican chopped salad
- 06/08 Wednesday: Blackened Chicken Cobb Salad
- 06/09 Thursday: Lighter Creamy Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- 06/10 Friday: Lobster Rolls
- 06/11 Saturday: Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies
- 06/12 Sunday: Pork Chops with Dijon-Buttermilk Sauce with mashed cauliflower and steamed veggies
Sweet Treat to Try This Week…
Pastel Summer Inspired Finds We Spotted Online at Amazon and Target This Week…
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If You’ve Missed Anything from the Blog Recently or the Archives, Here’s a Peek At What We’ve Been Up To…
Tips and Tricks for Creating a Bedroom Office Space (in case you’re setting up an office at home this summer)
DIY Donut Hole Decorating Kit (the littles loved these)
How to Make a Candy Tackle Box (these are great for traveling)
June Bucket List…
- Celebrate Dad’s Birthday, Flag Day, and Father’s Day
- Enjoy the Cabin
- Begin 30 Day Rest Challenge
- Try a New Craft Project
- Learn to Make a Signature Mocktail
- Surprise Someone with an Unexpected Gift
- Take a Walking Photography Tour
- Continue Quarter 2 Challenge
- Read the Book of the Month
- Keep Sundays Sacred
June Simplified and Organize Home Challenge…
Focus of the Month: Paper Clutter, Photos, and Email
- 06/04 – Bills/Mail/Paper Clutter
- 06/11 – Digital Computer Files/Passwords/Photographs
- 06/18 – Your Email Inbox
- 06/25 – Organize Your Purse, Wallet & Update Your Phone Contacts
TCG Housekeeping Notes, Dates to Remember, and Upcoming Posts…
- 06/03 – National Donut Day (deals here)
- 06/05 – National Cancer Survivors Day
- 06/06 – TCG Summer Reset and Time Off Begins ***
- 06/08 – World Oceans Day, National Best Friends Day
- 06/11 – National Making Life Beautiful Day
- 06/14 – Flag Day
- 06/19 – Juneteenth, Father’s Day
- 06/21 – First Day of Summer
- 06/23 – National Pink Day
- 06/30 – Social Media Day, National Meteor Day
As always, we appreciate you more than you could ever know, and we hope your weekend is peace-filled and relaxing. We can’t wait to share even more with you next week!